By: Peggy Willms

(7 min read)

My Monday, 10/7/2019, Coach, Couch, and Coffee Radio show with Guest Jan Malloch was dedicated to discussing how to be Fit & Fab at ANY Age. We focused mostly on the importance of being active as we age and that it is never too late to start.

Tonight, I complete my 6-week virtual small group series called Fall Into Fitness which is designed to increase an individual’s physical fitness activity baseline, whether it be to improve cardiovascular endurance, strength, flexibility or just plain ole get off the couch a bit more.

And I am STILL hung up on this movement subject. So much so that I am blurting out a Blog, AND I have decided to dedicate another radio show to the subject next week (10/14). Join me LIVE on FB or YouTube for the download or wherever you find your favorite podcasts, such as Apple podcasts.

Mastering the who, what, where, why, and when of exercise frustrates my clients, me as a Coach for my clients, and well, frankly, me personally. Yes, and before you email me, I am not perfect and have not nailed this thing called move it or lose it. I, too, think at times #ExerciseSux. The obstacles for me are decision-making (Just Do It-Don’t Think-Go) and accountability (I have to “report” to someone).

In 2011/2012, I had back-to-back car accidents causing me injuries that would prohibit me from safely training clients. I quickly learned self-motivation would be an ongoing struggle, as would realizing I do not need “approval” to take time out of my day “for myself.” A “paycheck” was always the “approval.” Frankly, learning to exercise for myself and by myself sucked wad as I had never had to do it. EVER. Not only did these accidents jolt my career, but they also altered my relationship with movement. They severed my connection to my personal what, where, why and when. I had to learn to appreciate the “outcome” of the movement rather than looking at the “you need to do it” or “studies show” or “practice what you preach.” I had to learn to appreciate: I sleep better; I decrease chances for illness and injury; I am not as grumpy; My joints are happier; I keep my muscle mass and strength; It reduces my stress levels. I cannot look at it as “Go swim…go row…go dance…”

So why do we struggle with our exercise plans? Why do our eyes roll back into our heads when we think or talk about exercising? There is a “Lord, here we go again, this is so painful” facial possession that occurs for most when we even whisper the word “exercise.” Why don’t we keep a successful plan in motion? We all know the ins and wins of activity, yet we still do NOT do it. Why is it easier to launch and often follow a tough nutrition plan or cleanse, for that matter, than keep moving long-term? YEAH, success rates are higher in completing a 10-day juice cleanse than walking for 30 minutes for the same 10 days. We be like HELL TO THE NO. Face it – nearly every one of us sucks at exercise commitments long-term.

Let me shout out a disclaimer – okay – not everyone struggles with embedding exercise habits into their daily lives. But I can tell you, after being in this industry for more than a minute, it is so challenging these days to encourage my clients to move their caboose than it is to have them eat a pound of kale or stop eating bread for two weeks.

You have the answers! How do you feel about that? Bet you don’t like it. WHY? Because we then have to dig deep and admit it: “I know what I need to do, yet I don’t exercise because…” We have read so many damn articles and white papers and watched a dozen Netflix documentaries on what to do and why to do it that we are ALL experts. We are scared to death that there may be a simple answer. What if you determine, “I just don’t want to do it, and until I have to because of a health scare, I won’t. And even then, I might not exercise.” Sobering but honest. Trust me, at some point, you will have to OR you will wish you had of but it is too late to move the way you would like to.

We know what works and doesn’t for us personally. We know how we feel and don’t feel personally about movement. And I know this because it is one of the biggest Ahas I have learned over the years coaching…If I sit and listen long enough, a high percentage of people circle around and solve their own problems. We are soooo much smarter when we talk out loud.

So, play along and let’s prove how you can solve your own #ExerciseSux hurdle.

Let’s dissect your mind and body responses regarding exercise/movement: 

  1. What do you think about exercise in general? (ex: get to sore, tired, hate it…)

  2. What do you think about when preparing to exercise? (ex: ugh, yay, have to…)

  3. How do you feel about different types of exercise? (ex: a group exercise class such as Zumba vs. a treadmill…)

  4. What are you thinking about while you are exercising? (ex: love this music, this #sux, I hate to sweat…)

  5. What are you thinking about after you exercise? (ex: thank God that is over, why do I put it off-I love it…)

  6. What is your knowledge of the benefits and needs of exercise/movement? (health benefits, improved attitude, less guilty than when I don’t exercise…)

  7. What is the average length of time in days, weeks, and months that you are active? (three days, one week, one month…)

  8. What has worked to keep you active? (buddy, accountability tool like tracking, “nothing”…)

  9. Why did you stop doing what worked? (ex: got too sore, too busy, too boring…)

  10. Are the answers to #9 the same excuses you have used time and time again over the years when you stop your exercise program?

  11. Look back over your exercise history – when your “successful” approaches to being active ceased, what did it take to get you started again? (ex: lab results, clothes didn’t fit, I go about two weeks and miss it…)

  12. What is your Come to Jesus? Look back at your answers and write them in a paragraph in the first person… ”I” statements.

ex: “I don’t like to exercise until I am in the act of exercising. I need to work out with a group or at least a few people. I get bored, so I need several things to choose from, and exercise has to be fun, like golf or kayaking. I need killer music or conversation so I stop thinking about what I should be doing. I am always glad when it is over-no regrets. I need to move to improve my arthritis and decrease my blood pressure. I always give up because I think other projects or people need me more that day than a week passes. I need to make my exercise look like an appt on my calendar.”

  1. What is a Baby Step plan you can put into play today?

ex: “I am going to call two friends who do a great job with exercise and see how they answer the above questions. Then ask if they will buddy me through the next two weeks to increase my activity. On day 14, I will reassess. If I am bored, I will change up a few things. I need accountability. Wellness never ends. There is no choice. And keeping it going is easier than restarting.”

The above work IS NOT an easy fix. It takes several experiments and tweaks to figure out a design that is most successful for you. Recognize right out of the gate, what works this month, may not next month because of situations that arise, but the reality is YOUR PAST BEHAVIOR PREDICTS YOUR FUTURE BEHAVIOR AND OUTCOMES. So, if your start and stop behavior and your excuses are the same year after year, don’t expect a different outcome without making changes. AND they do not have to be drastic, but you have to do something!

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states only 23% of Americans meet the Federal physical activity guidelines recommend that adults which is at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week. There are lots of “excuses” this number is low: we work two jobs or too many hours in the one job we do have…I have kids…I am sick, tired, old…blah blah blah. The bottom line is we all can do better, right?! Just for the Health of It if nothing else.

I hear often, “If I can’t do it right, I don’t want to do it at all.” Or some still believe that breaking up exercise doesn’t count. Fifteen minutes doesn’t matter unless it is 30. Say that out loud. It is ludicrous. Don’t move at all because it isn’t ____ minutes. OMG!

Hit the Batting Cages. Kick a soccer ball along the beach. Pole dance. Exercise in bed – yes, there are a ton of exercise routines you can do in your bed other than, well, you know…what you are thinking, but that, too, is exercise. N-E-WAYZ…

“Cher can do a plank for five minutes, but I don’t want to be Cher.” I actually say that out loud! THOUGH I recognize she didn’t get to five minutes in a few weeks. Below is an image and post she put up on her Twitter account a while back.


“ahhh..little Me at 9 months. Think it was 4 1/2 Min Plank”

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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